New World Notes’ Wagner picked up on the high number of SL residents using the Emerald Viewer. See the article there: Shock Stat: Nearly 1 in 3 Second Life Users Reportedly Use the Emerald Third Party Viewer!
I suppose it would be a “kind of” surprise to anyone not using Emerald or the newer SL 2 Viewer. In older viewers one cannot see the viewer names in Avatar Name tags. Those people not using a newer viewer would be surprised that ‘so many’ people are using the Emerald Viewer. However, I am surprised the number is ‘so low’ …well less than I expected. I usually use the Emerald Viewer and if not Emerald then I’m using Kirsten’s Viewer. In both of those I can see the viewer name in avatar names.
It may be the places I hang out when in SL. I’m not in SL often of late as RL work and my OpenSim region are reducing my SL time. But when shopping, visiting locations from the Destination Guide, visiting my favorite RPG/combat games (still Land of NoR is top), Jandia Writer’s recommended locations (Coffee Break’s Second Life Places), and may be the time of day I’m on (late Pacific Time) I see lots of Emerald users, enough so I would think it is closer to 50%.
I’m also surprised at how many people are using the new SL 2 Viewer. It displays a name too. It’s not just new people using the 2 Viewer. Of course my estimation is subjective-empirical. I don’t check the profile of that many 2 Viewer users, but most of those I have checked were residents for more than a year. But there is no way for me to know if the viewer is their full time choice or whether they were just trying it out. Whatever, I think it is more than just the new that are using the SL 2 Viewer.
Viewers are a topic of great controversy and that does not seem to be decreasing. If you read Chestnut Rau‘s article The Reasons I Use and Trust the Emerald Viewer (linked to from NWN’s article) and the comments, you’ll see the drama. Chestnut handles it well.